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Fire races through Prey Veng market

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Firefighters and members of the public use water hoses to try and contain a blaze at Kampong Popil Market in Prey Veng province’s Kampong Popil commune on Wednesday night. Fresh News

Fire races through Prey Veng market

A fire ripped through the Kampong Popil Market in Prey Veng province’s Kampong Popil commune on Wednesday night, causing more than $1 million in damage to shops and dwellings.

Commune chief Thoeng Samneang told The Post on Thursday the fire destroyed 75 houses and shops.

“According to the initial police estimate, the fire caused $1.08 million in damage,” he said.

Pea Reang district police chief Long Bun Bunthoen told The Post the cause of the fire is electrical malfunction at a motorcycle repair shop. There were no deaths or injuries.

Samneang said it took firefighters from Prey Veng and Kandal provinces and Phnom Penh three hours and 560cm of water to put out the fire.

A Prey Veng Red Cross Emergency Team visited the site to assist victims facing temporary hardship.

Chheng Kun, 39, said she sells clothes and cosmetics at the market. She told The Post her home of 15 years was destroyed by fire.

“My husband and three kids were sleeping when we heard shouting that a fire was coming. My husband and I did not think about anything besides taking the kids from the house. We ran from the house with no time to spare. The destroyed property was worth over $50,000,” she said.

Grocer Sreng Pheng, 73, said: “I did not take anything besides my wife getting out of the house. We are old and do not have kids staying with us.”

Prey Veng provincial governor Chea Somethy said he had asked authorities to work together to help rebuild the market.

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